Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Raymond Blanc's Lemon Cake (with Slight Modifications)

Yup, another of Monsieur Blanc's recipe. This excellent dessert is a butter cake variation, is one of the best lemon cakes I had ever tasted and it took me no less than 10 tries to get it right! I am not sure if it is the weather, humidity or the kind of flour we get but I cannot do the cake properly by following the original recipe. In the end, I made quite a bit of modification to the mixing steps and found something that worked for me (in Singapore).

If you use very good ingredients (especially butter, cream and lemons), you will be rewarded with a cake with an incredible aroma and fantastic texture. I prefer to bake it in a loaf tin or a pound cake tin like how Monsieur Blanc does.


Ingredients

5 Eggs
300gm caster sugar
140ml double cream
3 lemons’ zest
25ml dark rum
1 pinch salt
80gm butter (melted)
240gm cake flour
1tsp baking powder

Glaze

3Tbsp marmalade
150gm powdered sugar
1/2 a lemon's juice

Method 


1. Whisk eggs and sugar at highest speed until moussey (around 3 mins)

2. Add melted butter+cream and whisk at lowest speed until everything is JUST incorporated (20-30 sec)

3. Remove mixing bowl from mixer. Sift and very gently fold flour+baking powder into the mixture, in 3 parts

4. Pour rum, zest and salt into mixture - return to mixer and mix at slowest speed until everything is JUST incorporated (20-30 sec)

5. The batter will be slightly runny and should be poured into a loaf tin to bake at 180C for 50-70 mins until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean

6. Turn the cake to cool for about 10-15 mins on a rack - at the same time heat up the marmalade in the oven (10 mins is enough)

7. Brush the marmalade generously but gently all over the cake and then let it dry - this creates a barrier to prevent the glaze from soaking the cake

8. Dissolve the powdered sugar in the lemon's juice to make a sugar paste - gently heat this to around 40C

9. Brush the lemon glaze over the marmalade

10. Switch off the oven, put the cake back inside and let the residual heat dry the glaze


Notes 


- Eggs are 60gm a piece
- Use the best French butter you can get (they only cost $1-2 more than regular)
- You may use single cream although the cake will be less dense and more airy
- You can substitute the 3 lemons with just 1 lemon's zest + the juice. The cake will be denser however and cook slightly longer although much more lemony
- You can do a variation with oranges - use 3 oranges' zest (and + 1 orange's juice if you like as oranges are not as acidic as lemons) and substitute Cointreau liquer  for dark rum
- original recipe called for AP flour but I feel that, with the cake's high fat content, cake flour is better suited

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